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G International and Development Economics

The Program

"By combining solid economics training with field experience, this unique program will prove very useful for those who wish to understand the pressing development problems facing us today."— Dr. Ashok Rai, Harvard University

The M.S. in International and Development Economics is a two-year program in which students take three to four classes each semester, including one summer for the overseas internship. However, students desiring to go part-time can complete the program by taking two classes per semester for three years, undertaking their summer field research between the second and third years of the program.

Students will be equipped for a future in one or more of the following areas:

  • Professional work in international agencies, international businesses and non-governmental organizations
  • Professional work as development researchers, practitioners and policymakers for issues facing developing countries
  • Further study in international and development economics in a Ph.D. program

Program of Study

The 36-unit program includes a total of 12 3-unit courses. Eight courses are required, and four courses are electives. The program of study overall includes the following five requirements:

Overseas Field-Study Internship

A unique and key feature of the program is the overseas field-study internship. This internship is coordinated with the help of a faculty advisor. The internship takes place in the summer between semesters of study at USF. Research collected during the field study can be applied toward the graduate research project.

While the department and its faculty have developed relations with partner universities in the Philippines, El Salvador and Guatemala, students are not limited to these partnerships. Students can identify and set up an internship at sites in other countries. A limited number of travel stipends are available from the University to help cover the costs of the summer internship, but are not guaranteed for every internship.

Click here for current field-study research projects!

Foundation Requirements

The foundation requirements represent three bodies of knowledge that all graduate students must acquire before enrolling in the core courses. These requirements are waived if they have been met by previous studies or work experience. In addition, students are expected to have competence in standard spreadsheet applications.

These bodies of knowledge are:
  • Economic Theory: The fundamentals of economic theory at the undergraduate level, including Intermediate Microeconomics and Intermediate Macroeconomics.**
  • Mathematics: A fundamental understanding of college calculus and the ability to apply basic calculus and linear algebra to economic models.
  • Statistics: A basic knowledge of statistics, including random variables, probability distributions, confidence intervals and hypothesis testing.
** Non-economics majors who have not taken Intermediate Microeconomics, Intermediate Macroeconomics, or Economic Methods (applications of mathematics and statistics to economies) take these classes as they begin the IDEC program. Students who did not earn a grade of B or higher in these classes are "conditionally admitted." Conditional admission is removed when these requirements are satisfied, and such students are still able to complete the program in two years.

Core Courses

Microeconomic Theory
Macroeconomic Theory
Mathematics for Economists
Introduction to Econometrics
Applied Econometrics for International and Development Economics
Advanced Applied Econometrics
Fieldwork Research Methods
Graduate Seminar

For course descriptions, see Courses.

Elective Courses

International Political Economy
International Trade
International Finance
Economic Development
Development Microeconomics
Development Macroeconomics
Experimental Economics
Field Research in Development Economics
Population and Labor Economics
National Resource Economics and Development Policy

For course descriptions, see Courses.

Master's Research Project and Oral Presentation

In this seminar, students study and discuss a number of published empirical papers in international and development economics, which will serve as a guide for their own empirical work.

For more information, see Courses.

Topics of Study

  • Effects of globalization, international integration and trade
  • Macroeconomics of developing countries
  • Evaluation of development projects
  • Agricultural economics and commodity markets in developing countries
  • Microenterprise finance
  • Causes of poverty and famine
  • Women and development
  • International finance and currency stabilization
  • International labor markets and migration

Sample Program Timelines

Sample Program - Two-Year Master's Program
For a full-time student with a non-Economics undergraduate degree
  Fall Spring Summer
Year 1 1. Mathematical Economics
2. International Trade
3. Economic Development
1. Introduction to Econometrics
2. Development Microeconomics
3. Field Research Methods
4. Graduate Macroeconomics
1. Summer Field Research
Year 2 1. Applied Econometrics
2. Graduate Microeconomics
3. Natural Resource Economics and Development Policy
1. Graduate Seminar
2. Advanced Applied Econometrics
3. Thesis Writing
 


Sample Program - Three-Year Master's Program

For a part-time student with an Economics undergraduate degree

  Fall Spring Summer
Year 1 1. Microeconomic Theory
2. Mathematical Economics
1. Macroeconomic Theory
2. Introduction to Econometrics
 
Year 2 1. Applied Econometrics
2. Economic Development
1. Development Microeconomics
2. Field Study Preparation
1. Field Study (at overseas partner institution/location)
Year 3 1. International Trade
2. Development Macroeconomics
1. Graduate Seminar  


Sample Program - Three-Year Master's Program

For a part-time student with a non-Economics undergraduate degree

  Fall Spring Summer
Year 1 1. Intermediate Microeconomics (foundation requirement)
2. Economic Methods (foundation requirement)
3. Development Macroeconomics

1. Development Microeconomics
2. Introduction to Econometrics

 
Year 2 1. Applied Econometrics
2. Mathematical Economics
1. Macroeconomic Theory
2. Field Study Preparation
1. Field Study (at overseas partner institution/location)
Year 3 1. Microeconomic Theory
2. Economic Development
1. Law and Economics
2. Graduate Seminar